Zintl phases as thermoelectric materials: Tuned transport properties of the compounds CaxYb1-xZn2Sb2

Franck Gascoin, Sandra Ottensmann, Daniel P Stark, Sossina M. Haïle, G. Jeffrey Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

274 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Zintl phases are ideal candidates for efficient thermoelectric materials, because they are typically small-bandgap semiconductors with complex structures. Furthermore, such phases allow fine adjustment of dopant concentration without disrupting electronic mobility, which is essential for optimizing thermoelectric material efficiency. The tunability of Zintl phases is demonstrated with the series CaxYb1-xZn2Sb2 (0≤x≤1). Measurements of the electrical conductivity, Hall mobility, Seebeck coefficient, and thermal conductivity (in the 300-800 K temperature range) show the compounds to behave as heavily doped semiconductors, with transport properties that can be systematically regulated by varying x. Within this series, x = 0 is the most metallic (lowest electrical resistivity, lowest Seebeck coefficient, and highest carrier concentration), and x = 1 is the most semiconducting (highest electrical resistivity, highest Seebeck coefficient, and lowest carrier concentration), while the mobility is largely independent of x. In addition, the structural disorder generated by the incorporation of multiple cations lowers the overall thermal conductivity significantly at intermediate compositions, increasing the thermoelectric figure of merit, zT. Thus, both zT and the thermoelectric compatibility factor (like zT, a composite function of the transport properties) can be finely tuned to allow optimization of efficiency in a thermoelectric device.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1860-1864
Number of pages5
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Volume15
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes

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thermoelectric materials
Seebeck coefficient
Seebeck effect
Transport properties
transport properties
electrical resistivity
Carrier concentration
Thermal conductivity
composite functions
thermal conductivity
Semiconductor materials
disrupting
Hall mobility
figure of merit
compatibility
Cations
Energy gap
Positive ions
adjusting
Doping (additives)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Zintl phases as thermoelectric materials : Tuned transport properties of the compounds CaxYb1-xZn2Sb2. / Gascoin, Franck; Ottensmann, Sandra; Stark, Daniel P; Haïle, Sossina M.; Snyder, G. Jeffrey.

In: Advanced Functional Materials, Vol. 15, No. 11, 11.2005, p. 1860-1864.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gascoin, Franck ; Ottensmann, Sandra ; Stark, Daniel P ; Haïle, Sossina M. ; Snyder, G. Jeffrey. / Zintl phases as thermoelectric materials : Tuned transport properties of the compounds CaxYb1-xZn2Sb2. In: Advanced Functional Materials. 2005 ; Vol. 15, No. 11. pp. 1860-1864.
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